Benzene, 1-methyl-2-nitro- (2-Nitrotoluene)

CAS Registry Number 88-72-2

What is it?

  • Benzene, 1-methyl-2-nitro-, also known as 2-Nitrotoluene, is an industrial chemical.

How is it used?

  • 2-Nitrotoluene is used primarily in industrial settings. It is principally used in the explosives industry in Canada.
  • Internationally, it is also used in a variety of industries, but is not intentionally added to consumer products.
  • 2-Nitrotoluene is not manufactured in Canada, but it is imported into Canada.

Why did the Government of Canada assess it?

  • Prior to the assessment, 2-Nitrotoluene was identified as a potential concern for human health based on its classification by international organizations as a substance that was found to cause cancer in laboratory animals and which may cause genetic effects based on a moderate potential for exposure (not including workplace exposures) to the general population of Canada.

How are Canadians exposed to it?

  • The general population of Canada is not likely to be exposed to 2-Nitrotoluene since it is used primarily in industrial settings.

How is it released to the environment?

  • Release of 2-Nitrotoluene to the environment may occur from industrial handling.

What are the results of the assessment?

  • The Government of Canada has conducted a science-based evaluation of 2-Nitrotoluene, called a screening assessment.
  • Screening assessments address potential for harm to the general population (not including workplace exposures) and the environment.
  • The Government of Canada has concluded that 2-Nitrotoluene may be considered to be harmful to human health.
  • Additionally, although 2-Nitrotoluene has the potential to remain in the environment for a long time, it is not expected to accumulate in organisms; therefore, the Government of Canada has concluded that 2-Nitrotoluene is not entering the environment in a quantity or under conditions that constitute a danger to the environment.

What is the Government of Canada doing?

  • The general population of Canada is not expected to be exposed to 2-Nitrotoluene and the Government of Canada is taking action so that exposure remains low.
  • The application of the Significant New Activity (SNAc) provisions to this substance will be recommended. This would require that any proposed new manufacture, use or import be subject to further assessment, and would determine if the new activity requires further risk management consideration.
  • The final screening assessment and the proposed risk management approach documents were published on July 31, 2010. The publication of the proposed risk management approach document will be followed by a 60-day comment period, ending September 29, 2010.

What can Canadians do?

  • The health risks associated with a chemical depend on the hazard (its potential to cause health effects) and the dose (the amount of chemical to which you are exposed). However, exposure of the general population to 2-Nitrotoluene is not expected.
  • As a general precaution, Canadians are reminded when using any product to carefully follow safety warnings and directions.
  • Canadians who handle 2-Nitrotoluene in the workplace should consult with their occupational health and safety representative about safe handling practices, and requirements under the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System.
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